The remaining yardage in my stash totals 46,726.4 yards. Gulp. That’s a reality check!
The remaining yardage in my stash totals 46,726.4 yards. Gulp. That’s a reality check!
Inspired by a comment from Ledra on my last post, I’m inclined to think of this yarn as an “embryonic sweater” rather than just a hank of yarn.
This is some Luna Grey Fiber Arts fingering weight yarn that I received last week for pattern support. This color is so lovely in person. It’s a smoky blue-grey bit of gorgeousness called Harbor. It’s her Astro sock yarn, which is 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon. I think it will be perfect for a baby garment: durable enough for play and machine washing, but soft enough to please the wearer too.
I really want to try the Aquila yarn as well. It has merino, cashmere, and nylon. Mmmmm. I think Jackie and I have similar color tastes, because I want every single color. I also got a cute little hemp project bag. Even though I have at least 6 small project bags, it seems that they’re all missing when I try to leave the house, so I’m grateful to have another one.
Well, this embryonic sweater will become a baby dress/tunic. I could wax poetic about the virtues of baby dresses because they eventually become tunics, but I think I’ve done that already several times on this blog, and if you knit for little girl babies, you probably already know this. I plan on writing up the pattern, and right now the picture in my head is too adorable for words, so you’ll just have to be in suspense for a little bit. I hope it turns out the way I plan.
I have been meaning to get some photos of the three sweaters I finished last week (two for Z, one for Matt). I re-blocked Matt’s sweater to lengthen it a bit, because it somehow lost an inch or so after I seamed it and he wore it for a few hours. It’s a mystery. I think re-blocking has solved it (I hope) because the length was originally there… Z has had a nasty cold for a week, so I’m less inclined to try for a photo shoot since she’s sniffly. She’s still in good spirits, but she hates when we wipe her nose, so I’ll just wait a bit. The pictures are coming. The cuteness will not be stopped.
*updated to add color name above
Is a sweater a sweater the moment you cast it on? Pick the yarn? Or is it only a sweater when it reaches a certain amount of knitting that makes it recognizable as a sweater?
The other night I was switching from one project to another and I asked Matt to “hand me the sweater.” I meant the Goodale I started and was only about 18 rows into knitting. He looked confused. I pointed at the orange chunk of knitting. He said, “That’s not a sweater.” In my mind it was already a sweater.
Um, scratch that. I just found a mistake. It looks like I miscounted from the beginning when I placed markers for increases. I’m going to rip out what I have, so this will temporarily not be a sweater and it will temporarily return to the yarn void.
Yesterday was a good day for a little bit of blocking. I’ve got the Ellybob Cardigan on my Knit Picks foam blocking boards, and Ishbel on my larger board from WEBS and blocking wires on the straight edge. I’m pleased to be at this stage on both.
I feel like my edge elephants on the Ellybob could have been a little neater. Their trunks seem a little out of sorts, even with blocking, and I think my tension was a bit tight overall on the Fair Isle portion of the pattern, but it’s not extremely apparent, so I’ll call it good enough and move on. I found some cute little square buttons at my LYS that match the elephants pretty well.
As soon as these were secured to the blocking boards, I picked up Matt’s cardigan and began shaping the sleeve caps. I hope to block that today or tomorrow. It will have to be blocked and sewn before I can add the shawl collar.
Hmmm…what shall I cast on next?
Behold! My Citron is off the needles. I’ve been working on this lovely shawl with single-minded focus like a woman possessed. I don’t think I’ve touched another project at all since casting this on at the end of March.
I thought I would make the 5 repeats called for in the pattern and see how I felt. Then I thought, “Nah, six seems like a better number.” Then I just kept looking around on Ravelry and fell in love with this example. She made seven repeats and added three rows of garter on the edge to prevent some rolling. I am doing the same. On the final ruffle, I knit 9 very long rows, in stockinette, then I switched to garter (knitting on the purl side on row 10) and continued for three rows. This Lotus Mimi mink yarn is soooooooo soft, so why wouldn’t I just keep going and make a larger delightfully cozy shawl? I bound off on a size 9 needle by knitting two together, slipping that decrease back to the left needle, knitting two together again, slipping back to the left needle again, and continuing in this manner across. Later I remembered seeing somewhere that you k2tog through the back loop instead of a regular k2tog. I don’t know which way looks better, since I only tried one way, but it kept the ruffle nice and loose, so I was happy with it.
If you are increasing the shawl beyond the 5 repeats, you continue to follow the pattern set forth in each repeat. For example, on a sixth repeat on Row 9 you K12, m1 7 times, then k13, m1 9 times, k12, m1 7 times. Then on Row 19 you K13, m1 7 times, k14, m1 8 times, k13, m1 8 times. The pattern is simple in this shawl. On each Row 9 the number of knitted stitches before the m1 goes up by 1 from the row 19 before it and the number of times it is repeated also goes up by one. If you study the pattern, you’ll notice on every Row 9 the outside increases are symmetrical and on Row 19 the one side of the outer increases is higher by one. The center set of increases on Row 9 and Row 19 decreases by one repeat each time, but the number of knitted stitches in each repeat goes up by one each time. I know this sounds like gibberish if you’re not interested in the pattern, but if you feel like making a ton of repeats, seeing the pattern makes it really easy.
I tried to keep track of things by separating my sets of repeats on each increase row with stitch markers. This helped me make sure I was doing the increases correctly without having to count after every single increase row, since these rows go longer and longer! If I was off on the row, that would show when I got to the marker and had a wrong number of stitches. I had to un-knit a row here and there, but at least it was always when I was still on the row, rather than a few rows later.
I used 833.3 yards of this gorgeous Lotus Mimi in orange to get my seven repeats done. That was what I expected after browsing a bunch of finished projects on Ravelry. I absolutely love when people weigh what they have left and try to provide exact yardage. I wasn’t vigilant about this (or even putting things on Ravelry) for earlier projects, but I’m trying to provide more info now. It’s nice to know if I will be able to squeak by on some projects using a little less yarn than called for in the pattern, since most patterns call for whole balls of whatever yarn they’re using, not exact yardage or weight.
I only blocked the straight garter edge of this shawl. Again, thank you Ravelry users for the helpful info posts. Many people say to block very lightly. I didn’t do a full wet blocking like I usually do for most projects. I slipped the edge stitches onto blocking wires, pinned that to the blocking board, misted the straight edge with water, and pressed it down evenly. This was my first time using blocking wires. I tried to pick up the same leg of the stitch each time. I was already happy with the size before blocking. After the blocking the straight edge measures 49″ for me, and the radius (spine?) of the shawl is 22″. I stretched the straight edge out a bit longer, but that was the only change I sought in blocking.
If you feel like reading even more knitting content from me, I did a guest post about knitting on YourHobby.co.uk. You can check it out here.
What would you do if you lost your index finger on your dominant hand and your family depended on your crafting skills as a main livelihood? I can’t imagine how devastating and stressful that would be. This happened to man in my town (Fayetteville, AR) and he and his family are trying to raise funds to help them with medical bills and basic needs through this stressful time. They’ve received a ton of art and craft donations to sell to help their cause. If you’re feeling altruistic and/or feel like purchasing some new art, jewelry, totes, tea towels, or badass sunglasses, please check out their shop.
You can read more about their story by clicking on the image below, or you can check out the shop directly here. If you don’t need any new stuff, but you just feel like making a donation, there is a PayPal link at the bottom of the page.
To provide a little extra incentive, I’ll give away some of my stash yarn to entice you. If you make a donation or purchase from their shop, please email me at cassyATknitthehelloutDOTcom and let me know you made a donation. You don’t have to tell me how much, and I’ll trust that you did it, because I believe karma will bite you back if you’re dishonest. I’ll draw a name next Wednesday (March 20th). I’ll use a random generator and pick two people that donated to receive either this:
I recently bought a new cookbook. Most of the time I experiment or use recipes from the internet, since sites like Epicurious rock my world with all of their free and gorgeous recipes. I saw this cookbook in my local bookstore last year, and have been drooling over it ever since. I finally broke down and bought it as an ebook. It’s called Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease. Today I made two recipes from it.
This is my version of the Rutabaga, Crème Fraîche, and Havarti Torte. I actually used items from our local CSA (community sponsored agriculture) membership since I didn’t have rutabagas on hand. I used turnips, radishes, and red potatoes. I used mild goat milk cheddar, and instead of the crème fraîche I made my own sauce by reducing heavy whipping cream and sautéing garlic. Sooooo…while not exactly the recipe in the book, it was inspired by it, and I used their baking instructions. I’m experimental like that.
This did not stay together as well as the version in the cookbook, since I radically altered it and used much smaller vegetables. Thus, I do not have an on-the-plate action shot. It was delicious, so that’s really all that matters. If I make it again with these smaller vegetables I will likely just use an 8×8 pan.
Since the kitchen was already warmed up on this hot, hot day, I figured I should just keep going. I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand for the French Yogurt Cake with Nutella. This I made exactly to Rozanne Gold’s expectations.
This too did not fail to impress my taste buds. I heartily recommend buying this cookbook if you want delectable recipes and gorgeous photographs to go along with many of them. The book is really reasonable as an ebook (under $16 for 325 recipes). If you do buy it as an ebook, I recommend Google Play’s version over Amazon. For some inexplicable reason, the Amazon version does not come with color photos. I asked them for a refund. You want to see these food pictures in color.
My Honeybee Cardigan is blocking, and will be photographed soon. Happy Memorial Day!
I don’t repeat a lot of knitting patterns, other than for the purpose of testing my own pattern making skills. Usually I quickly become enamored with something else and move on. Most of the time I find it hard to be monogamous to one pattern at a time, but don’t tell that to my drawer of UFOs… I often say that I will only have one man, so I might as well have as many knitting projects as I want. Liesl by Julie Weisenberger seemed worthy of making twice.
Here is my first version where I ham it up in some photos at 7am at my favorite local park. My new Liesl is also made from Euroflax Sportweight, this time in the color Aqua. I am constantly and predictably drawn to most things aqua, aquamarine, seafoam, and various shades of turquoise. I wanted to make things out of this color of Euroflax last year, but it was on back order.
Again, excuse the mannequin pics. I’m not sure why coordinating pictures for the blog has seemed so difficult lately, but I believe this will abate as my school duties wane for a couple of months. If you miss my dorky face, please click the link above.
This pattern is simple enough for a beginner, mindless enough for those of us that like to read and knit, and the finished product looks stunning on many different body types. This is a garment I have been wearing weekly in the warm months. Linen is also such a durable fiber that I can’t imagine it wearing out. It just seems to get softer and better with each turn in the washer and dryer.
Speaking of reading and knitting…I need a new stockinette or garter project. I’ve been devouring A Feast for Crows, but I find myself reading less as I am getting to the sleeve/shoulder decreases on my Honeybee Cardigan. I’m not enough of a badass to read and do lace at the same time. The lace on this cardigan is fun and intuitive after one or two repeats. I highly recommend it. I think a good, semi-mindless project could be this Four Corners Baby Blanket from Purl Bee. For some reason I’ve never done intarsia, but this seems like a good place to start. I love the clean and modern design. I think it would make an excellent adult blanket (upsized of course) too.
My year started out in a pretty delightful way. While I was home on New Year’s Eve quite early (due to some massive fatigue), Matt managed to talk me into some hiking on the next day. He woke up energized and excited around 7:30. I was still grumbling and reluctant when he suggested going on an extensive day hike, but I went along with it, deciding I would probably enjoy it more than my 7:30 self believed. I was right. We went to a place called Hemmed in Hollow near the Buffalo River. It was a lovely day. The hike out of the waterfall area was STEEP and arduous, but it was all well worth it in the end. It was an excellent experience and I’m glad that Matt pushes me to spend more time in the outdoors.
I finished a second pair of socks for Matt. I also realized that I never posted about the first pair I made for him. We took pictures of them back in October, I think, and he still loves them.
This colorway is from the Opal Winter Fairy Tale collection. I don’t think it’s being manufactured anymore, but the color is 2150 if you feel like hunting for it. I love Opal sock yarns. I usually have some kind of plain stockinette pair on the needles and I love to see how the self-striping happens.It keeps me going. The yarn is also extremely durable. I have favorite sock yarns for softness (like Malabrigo, or Tosh sock, or Koigu), but for durability Opal and Regia are stellar.
The second pair was made with Ty-Dy sock yarn in color 1364. I also enjoy the chaotic splashes of color and the ways they co-mingle. I did both pairs from the toe up, using all but maybe a 1/2 yard of the yarn. This time I did some ribbing and followed it with 3 rows of stockinette. I read somewhere that if you finish with a few rows of stockinette and bind off normally then the cuff should still be stretchy. When I was beginning to bind off it did not feel especially stretchy, so I did Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off like usual. I accidentally deleted the pics of these…so I’ll have to post some later when I get another chance to take a pic of his feet in daylight.
This almost ends my little sock parade. After I finished Matt’s socks, I realized that all I had left on the sock needles were a pair of Jaywalkers I started ages ago. So I finished them! I used Koigu (color 342) and they were a little shorter than I wanted with just two skeins. Koigu comes in 175 yard skeins. With Jaywalkers eating up a wee bit more yarn the patterning, I decided to pull some Shibui out of my stash and made a complimentary cuff. The Shibui color is called Blue Spruce.
Damn, I love making socks.
I don’t normally attempt to A) make sure I write recipes down or B) share them with the world, but what the heck. I love making bread pudding and I thought I would share this pumpkin-laden dish in the spirit of the pumpkin-laden upcoming holidays. We’ve been getting our vitamin A in the last week and a half with this and a large batch of pumpkin soup inspired by Knitxcore’s pumpkin soup post. So here is my recipe for Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding:
About 4 cups of bread cut into 1 inch cubes to fill a 9×9 baking pan. We used homemade whole grain wheat bread.
4 oz Neufchâtel cream cheese
1 cup pumpkin pie mix
1 cup half and half
3/8 cup agave
4 oz Ghirardelli 60% Cacao baking chocolate
Put cubed bread into 9×9 baking pan. Break chocolate bar into small chunks (or use chocolate chips) and sprinkle evenly over the bread cubes. Soften cream cheese and put it and all remaining ingredients into blender (or use hand mixer) and blend until completely mixed and smooth. Pour over bread and chocolate mix. Store in refrigerator overnight to allow bread pieces to soak up mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Eat heartily.
We ate this with a scoop of Fage Greek yogurt to cut the sweetness. It was satisfactory. Enjoy!